AMD marks entry into Lenovo ThinkPads

Processors make their way into ThinkPad line for the first time, with two models sporting Turion and Athlon Neo chips to be available from early January.

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) processors will soon be available in two upcoming Lenovo ThinkPad models, breaking Intel's longtime monopoly on the notebook line.

Having acquired the ThinkPad line from its acquisition of IBM's PC business in 2004, Lenovo said in separate statements e-mailed Monday that the ThinkPad X100e and the 13-inch version of the new ThinkPad Edge series will carry AMD processors.

The announcement marks the first time the mobile computers will incorporate non-Intel chips.

An ultraportable PC positioned between a notebook and a netbook, the ThinkPad X100e can be equipped with AMD's Athlon Neo single-core and dual-core, as well as the Turion dual-core processors. The ThinkPad Edge model, the smallest of three offerings in this product family and targeted at small and midsize businesses, may be paired with dual-core AMD Turion and Athlon Neo processors. The 14-inch and 15-inch ThinkPad Edge versions will still be powered by Intel's Core 2 Duo chips.

Both models also come with AMD's Vision Pro Technology, which is touted to deliver an optimal visual experience without compromising battery life.

"Expanding our relationship with Lenovo to include ThinkPad laptops represents a turning point for AMD's commercial client business, and creates enormous opportunity for both companies," Leslie Sobon, AMD's vice president of product marketing, said in a statement alongside the announcement. "By basing these laptops on Vision Pro Technology, Lenovo is enabling customers to gain a competitive advantage with performance you can see on today's collaboration and visual productivity applications, unbeatable value at every price point and a means of eliminating IT headaches through open standards manageability and security features."

Lenovo's new AMD-powered laptops are expected to be available in early January.

Citing the Chinese PC giant, Reuters said Sunday in a report that the ThinkPad family's inclusion of AMD Athlon Neo chips allows Lenovo to offer lower price points.

According to market research firm IDC, Lenovo is the No. 1 PC vendor in the Asia-Pacific region and ranked fourth globally after Hewlett-Packard, Acer and Dell.